Tuning machines for Squier VM Jazz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DCCat, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. DCCat


    Jan 20, 2020
    Northern Virginia
    I've seen this question discussed before, but I don't know that I've seen a clear resolution (can't remember, anyway, and the search function on this site isn't great), so here goes:

    I have a 2017 Squier VM Jazz and I want to put some black tuning machines on it, and also wouldn't mind getting some that are a little more precise in their tuning than the stock ones. I believe the headstock bore hole on these basses is 9/16, correct? Is there a drop-in replacement out there, even to the point of using the same screw holes? If not, which product (which is offered in black) comes closest? I like Hipshots, in general, but am flexible about that if I can get a quality product and good fit.
  2. DCCat


    Jan 20, 2020
    Northern Virginia
    Anybody have any thoughts or experiences on this topic?
  3. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    bout' the only think i could find would be the Hipshot HB7 in black. don't know the bore hole diameter that they require but you can call them on the phone or email them. they also sell adapter bushings too if needed. take one off the bass, measure what you have, and contact them.
  4. DCCat


    Jan 20, 2020
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks. I did a little more research on the confusing past guidance that people have given about this. It seems that 10 years or so ago, the HB7's fit the Squier CVs, but no hipshots were drop-in replacements for the VMs. But with more recent versions of these basses, HB1's fit the Squier CVs while HB7's fit the VMs. At least that's what I've gleened from digging through a bunch of old threads, so may not be 100% accurate. Still, based on this I think for my newer VM, the HB7's should work. But I'll confirm with Hipshot.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Please post the outcome. It would be good to have a post that we can refer to as the definitive answer.
  6. DCCat


    Jan 20, 2020
    Northern Virginia
    Unfortunately, I can offer nothing approaching a definitive answer. Hipshot basically told me that they're hesitant to claim that their products fit anyone else's products with certainty, and especially Fender/Squier products. They said Fender/Squier have too much inconsistency in the hardware used in their product lines, and if you called Fender with a serial number of a bass, you shouldn't feel confident that they would be able to tell you for certain what hardware was on it.

    So that was discouraging. I took some encouragement, though, from an FAQ item on their site. The question was: which Hipshot tuning machine fits a 5-string Squier VM bass? The answer was HB7 because Squier used Highway 1 tuning machines on those basses, for which the HB7's are drop-in replacements. It was, of course, a bit curious that they specifically focused on 5-string basses here, and there was no comparable question about 4-strings. There were a few other questions about Fenders and a couple about Squiers, all similarly specific.

    Regardless, after judging my options, I ordered the HB7's, since they're at least basically the same and would be my best bet, so even if they don't fit exactly, they'd be close.

    And ... they didn't fit exactly. Here's part of Hipshot's HB7 diagram. The HB7's are the same basic shape as my Squier tuners. The two screw holes on the right align perfectly on my bass, the post is fine, and the bushings are very snug but good enough. But the two screw holes on the left don't align. The metal extends further to the left on the Squier tuners, and the holes are about 1.5mm to the left.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 9.51.47 PM.png

    It's puzzling what Fender's manufacturing justification could be for building (or ordering built to spec) variations on the Highway 1 design, when just using the Highway 1's in all relevant cases would probably be just as easy/cheap, if not easier/cheaper.

    It's also a little puzzling that Hipshot would go out on a limb to state that HB7's fit 5-string Squier VMs. Maybe they're confident that Fender really did use the Highway 1's for all 5-strings. My bass is evidence that they didn't use them for all 4-strings. My guess is they used them for some, but whether you might have one of those or not is a crapshoot.

    So anyway, I've got a little fillin' & drillin' to do. No big deal. But also no good reason to require me to.
    vid1900 and Turnaround like this.